Saturday, 24 January 2009


Prior to going to the GP's I had started an excercise regime and had cut out dairy products. I think this stood me in good stead. However, there's giving up dairy and giving up dairy !! It is amazing where dairy can be included in processed foods. It is found in the unlikeliest of places . I have come to the conclusion that dairy products - anything derived from cows milk is a vey cheap filler product. I was astonished to learn many years ago that Canadian Cheddar cheese had chicken bones in it. (It's calcium isn't it ?!!) I now know that there was dairy in so many things that I had been eating whilst thinking myself dairy free. Lactose, Whey, Cassein, milk, butter, cream, creme fraiche, yoghurt, these are all names which are applied to dairy products. Following surgery I became a detective on the trail of dairy, and a very wide trail it is.

Following surgery I tightened up on excluding dairy products. This meant that I radically changed my diet. Processed food was out. It seemed to be in everything and as I was too weak to check every label it just seemed easier to exclude most of it. This policy had an unexpected bonus. My consumption of sugar and fat and additives also fell. It sounds strange, but I detoxed whilst on chemotherapy. My diet was very restricted. I had humous, wholemeal pitta bread, salad, baked potatoes and pineapple. I dare say I found a few other things to eat, but it certainly felt like a cavemans diet. I didn't have the strength to stand let alone cook so the diet truly was simple. There were times I could have cried with frustration because I couldn't think what I could eat, couldn't shop for it, and couldn't make it. But, as the saying goes, that's just history now.

I barely functioned whilst undergoing chemotherapy. I slept a lot of the time thinking that I was helping my body heal. I didn't read, didn't watch television, didn't go out. I hibernated my way through it. I did a lot of deep breathing. When my daughter was younger I had found that she would fall asleep more easily if she heard deep breathing beside her. I took this approach to coax myself to sleep and to combat the stress of the cancer diagnosis. I foolishly asked how long I had so that I could get my affairs in order and was told four to six months. My oncologist didn't deliver this as a certainty, but it certainly frightened me. The effects of the chemotherapy confirmed his dire estimate to me. But I was lucky, and the tumours did shrink in size.

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